“What benefits will be received from winning the competition?”
“We will be able to exclusively deliver battle gear to the lord for a year. We will also be featured in the recommendation to tourists and will earn a huge amount of revenue as a result.”
Pangea was twice as big as Reidan, the second largest city in the Eternal Kingdom. Unlike Reidan, it was constantly full and had a high floating population. The smithy that won this competition could indeed amass a large amount of wealth. They would be honored as the best blacksmiths of Pangea, so winning the blacksmith competition was the dream of all blacksmiths in Pangea. But that wasn’t White’s only purpose.
“And... We become qualified to enter the dungeon of the lord’s castle.”
“The dungeon of the lord’s castle?”
In fact, there were castles that contained dungeons. Chris’ territory was an example. Chris was famous for having a vampire boss that appeared in his castle’s underground dungeon and accumulating elixirs. As it happened, Grid’s territories didn’t have a private dungeon.
‘I heard that a castle’s dungeon is also a good place to collect rare items...’
Lauel’s strengthening Overgeared plan included the occupation of all such castles on the West Continent and monopolizing the dungeons.
‘It isn’t feasible.’
Grid’s eyes recovered from their greed. At the same time, they sharpened.
"What’s in Pangea’s dungeon?”
“The enemy who murdered my father, the monster that produces the ‘Silver Thread’ that all blacksmiths dream about.”
'Thread made of silver?’
The silver thread sounded ordinary. But if it was simple silver thread, the blacksmiths of Pangea wouldn’t dream about obtaining it.
"It isn’t like normal silver thread?”
"It is silver thread obtained by the silver armor worn by the armored needles melting from their rotten blood. This silver thread is hardened by this process, repeating for many years. It’s said to never break and exerts mysterious effects.”
“Your father being killed by the armored needles...”
"It’s as you expect. My father won the competition several years ago, entered the dungeon to obtain the silver thread, and was killed by an armored needle.”
White’s father got into trouble when he entered the dungeon with the lord’s troops who regularly entered the dungeon. White was afraid that he would step on the same path as his father, but he was angrier and greedier than he was fearful.
“I will surely recreate the Red Phoenix Bow, win the competition, gain access to the dungeon, and gain resources from the lord. I will sweep away the armored needles and use the silver thread to make the White Hammer Smithy the best smithy. That was my father’s dream.”
Grid’s eyes changed once again as he looked at White. There was warmth in his eyes. Based on the humanitarian ideology of Pagma’s Descendant, Blacksmith’s Affection was expressed.
‘A blacksmith with dreams looks good.’
It was at that moment.
[A quest has been created.]
[Win the Smithy Competition!]
You are the successor of Pagma’s techniques and will! You have Pagma’s humanitarian ideology of using ‘blacksmithing to benefit other people.’
You are impressed with White, who is trying to make the White Hammer smithy the best smithy in Pangea for his father. Help White win the smithy competition!
The moment that the White Hammer smithy is crowned the best smithy in Pangea, you will have an absolute ally in Pangea.
Quest Clear Conditions: A unique or higher rated Restored Red Phoenix Bow.
Quest Reward: White’s affinity will be MAX. The lord’s affinity will rise by 30~80 points. Different compensation will be obtained depending on your affinity with the lord. The right to enter the dungeon of Pangea’s castle. Your level will rise by one.
Quest Failure: Affinity with White will decline. Your reputation in Pangea will drop.
Grid’s desire to participate in the competition grew. He had a reason and would even receive compensation, so there was no reason for Grid to refuse.
[Would you like to accept the quest?]
There were only two options in the notification window. YES or NO. Grid chose YES without hesitation.
White responded after the quest was accepted.
"In fact, I’m not confident about handling the white phosphorus wood properly. I am able to get better firepower than before thanks to it, but I can’t completely control it. But as a legendary woodcutter, don’t you also specialize in firewood? That... I’m asking despite the shame. Will you participate in this competition as a member of my smithy?”
A legendary blacksmith was mistaken for a woodcutter? Grid was embarrassed because the development was different than what he expected, but he nodded.
“I understand. I will help you.”
“Ohh...! Ohh! Thank you! I really appreciate it!”
Of course, the legendary blacksmith was also good with the bellows. It wasn’t difficult for Grid to handle fire.
‘I just need to participate in the competition, no matter the manner.’
Once the competition began.
‘I will take the lead.’
Han Seokbong. He was the descendant of a fallen noble family and had a poor childhood. But thanks to his wise mother, he was able to become a civil servant and rise in the ranks. Han Seokbong was appointed to help the king of the Cho Kingdom. It was said that the policies developed by Han Seokbong made the Cho Kingdom strong.
He was the genius who was appointed as lord of Pangea at the age of 50. The hero who raised his family name, a role model to the common people, and a national treasure, he had been troubled in recent years. It was because of the loss of Pangea’s treasure, the Red Phoenix Bow.
"In the end, the yangbans of the Hwan Kingdom moved!”
The four treasures that contained the power of a god.
The Blue Dragon Dao in the eastern Kaya Kingdom. The White Tiger Spear in the western Pa Kingdom. The Red Phoenix Bow in the southern Cho Kingdom. The Black Tortoise Jewel in the northern Xing Kingdom.
The Hwan Kingdom gave these four treasures to each kingdom and ordered them to protect them well. Now the Cho Kingdom had lost the Red Phoenix Bow. It was when Han Seokbong was the lord of Pangea.
'The yangban said they would give me half a year...’
If he couldn’t regain the Red Phoenix Bow in half a year, Han Seokbong’s safety wasn’t the only problem. The Cho Kingdom had a lot of exchanges with the Hwan Kingdom, so it was likely the Hwan Kingdom would place severe restrictions for a few years. It was a situation where the status of the kingdom would plummet and become paralyzed.
Han Seokbong felt resentment. Three years ago, an unidentified evil daoist priest invaded Pangea and stole the Red Phoenix Bow. Why did the Cho Kingdom have to be driven to a corner? ‘If the Cho Kingdom is weakened, the northern Xing will obtain the greatest profit... However, it was unlikely that Xing would’ve caused this incident since they knew the importance of the four divine treasures.’
Maybe the enemy was within. There were only a few candidates who would benefit if the power of the Cho King weakened.
The king’s younger brother.
'But he isn’t bold and his support base is weak.’
In the worst case...
‘Maybe someone knew the meaning of the Red Phoenix Bow and desired it...’
In this case, they might also go after the Blue Dragon Dao, the White Tiger Spear, and the Black Tortoise Jewel. It was dangerous. The entire continent might fall into chaos.
‘No, this isn’t an issue I should worry about now.'
If the situation became serious, then the people of the Hwan Kingdom would come to solve it. Perhaps.
‘I just need to concentrate on regaining the Red Phoenix Bow.’
But he didn’t know where the Red Phoenix Bow was. Due to the monster community in the north, communication with the outside was limited. It was more realistic to create a new treasure that would replace the Red Phoenix Bow, so Han Seokbong placed hope in the blacksmiths of Pangea.
“Please... I hope you will recreate the Red Phoenix Bow this year.”
A tombstone made of white jade. The voice of an old woman entered his ears as he looked at the place where the Red Phoenix Bow would’ve been.
“Your face is becoming more anxious the more days that pass. Won’t it be more toxic if you feel meaningless anxiety?”
Han Seokbong grasped the owner of the voice and rose from his seat. He was worried for his mother, who was 80 years old. She shouldn’t be coming all the way down here.
"Your knees will be sore if you keep going up and down the stairs.”
Han Seokbong ran to his mother, helping her up as she handed him a writing brush.
“Your mother is still fine, so don’t be worried. Don’t forget that you must always be calm. Train your mind and body. Sigh.”
Han Seokbong’s mother blew out the candles placed around the white jade tombstone. Then she sat down in the darkened room.
"From now on, I will slice some rice cakes, so calm yourself.”
“Yes...! I understand, Mother!”
His mother had always been by his side since childhood. She appeared whenever he was feeling confused and anxious.
‘Once I start writing things down, my head always clears and my mind calms down.’
Han Seokbong smiled cheerfully and started doing calligraphy. Writing in darkness was a new development. It was natural for the handwriting to be poor.
Han Seokbong’s mother cut her finger while slicing the rice cake. It was something that frequently happened and it was just a small cut.
"Hey! Who is this? Isn’t it the dark White from the White Hammer smithy?”
An hour before the competition. A guest came to the White Hammer blacksmiths who were gathering the materials to be used in this competition. It was the owner of the Blue Flames smithy, Enoch.
“The White Hammer smithy has been disgraced for the last three years and it won’t be able to win again this year. Are you enjoying your last bit of fun?”
Enoch was someone with a kind and comforting appearance. But his tone and words were nasty.
"Your father would be sad. The White Hammer smithy will soon be destroyed because a blacksmith who can’t handle fire was made the successor."
Enoch talked about White’s dead father. White was furious. But he tried to be patient and not show his anger. In the end, Enoch’s words weren’t wrong. If he became angry now, wouldn’t that make Enoch laugh even more?
‘I feel sorry for my father.’
White was guilty of being a bad son.
Blood flowed as White formed a tight fist.
“A blacksmith should cherish his hands.”
Grid stepped forward from where he had been watching the situation. He took out a bandage he used when he was a beginning and handed it to White, before speaking to Enoch.
"Are you good at handling fire?”
Enoch thought it was ridiculous.
“What’s this? I’ve never seen you before? A newbie like you dares to interrupt a conversation between adults? Is this your concept?”
“What adult? There’s only a 10 year difference between us.”
“Hah, the level of the White Hammer smithy is really low. I don’t like this type of rudeness. Tsk tsk, really. All the talented people are gathering in my smithy. Well, this year’s winner is obvious. Let’s celebrate in advance. Puhahat.”
‘What a funny guy.’
Going to another waiting room just to argue? A complete gangster. Grid disliked this type of person.
"I’ll have to beat you first.”
A woodcutter made an absurd remark about beating the master of the Blue Flames smithy. White didn’t hear it. He was trying to swallow his anger.